Former Navy SEAL Scott Taylor takes aim at Virginia's second spot
In a Veterans Day video press release to supporters, the former Navy SEAL announced he "will explore a run for lieutenant governor of Virginia."
Taylor becomes the first hopeful to announce his interest in the 2017 nominating contest for the commonwealth's number two post.
Investor and Republican Party of Virginia Finance Chairman Pete Snyder is reported to be considering a run for lieutenant governor, as is Glenn Davis, another Republican delegate from Virginia Beach. Snyder also sought the office in 2013 but failed to secure the Republican nomination.
According to a compromise worked out by the Republican Party of Virginia's governing body, nominees for the 2017 statewide offices will be chosen at a convention — the same process used in 2013, when delegates made the surprise selection of E.W. Jackson over Snyder for the lieutenant governor slot.
Taylor was first elected to his Virginia Beach-area seat in 2013, replacing longtime incumbent Republican Del. Bob Tata. Taylor was uncontested for re-election this year.
Taylor ran for and lost a race for Virginia Beach mayor in 2008, and lost in the 2010 2nd Congressional District GOP primary to Rep. Scott Rigell.
In his video release, Taylor takes swings at former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg for his "gun control agenda," and Medicaid expansion — a proposal the Republican-controlled General Assembly has successfully stymied in the last two legislative sessions.
Touching on the themes of economic growth and security, Taylor says Virginians "need leaders who have a forward-looking, positive vision for freedom, responsibility, opportunity and growth in the commonwealth."
In an op-ed for the Virginian-Pilot last month, Taylor explored a unique solution for one transportation headache in a state that is full of them. In 2013, Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell imposed a sales-tax hike and other tax measures ostensibly aimed at improving transportation, but traffic continues to get worse.
Taylor proposed building a tolled third tunnel at the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel, in a project that would be seeded through a crowdfunding campaign.
"If residents 'vote' by raising hundreds of millions of dollars for a third tunnel," Taylor wrote, "politicians and bureaucrats will respond quickly. Crowd psychology is as important as the money itself."